Ethereum Classic (ETC) Suffers third 51% Attack in a month

Piyasi Mitra
Piyasi Mitra is a journalist, features writer and copy editor who has worked with The Times of India and the ABP Group, and is currently exploring content creation in the digital space.
  • On August 30, Ethereum Classic ETC suffered its third 51% attack within a month.
  • The latest attack reorganized over 7,000 blocks, while for the first and second attacks the figures were 3,693 and 4,000 blocks respectively.

Leaving crypto-verse in a shock, the Ethereum Classic (ETC) Blockchain suffered a 51% attack August 30, marking its third such attack this month. The warning signs were initially noticed by mining company Bitfly, which also spotted the first attack on August 1, soon after which the second attack hit ETC again on August 6.

On August 30, Ethereum Classic informed on twitter that while they’re  working on evaluating proposed solutions, but current hazards which could affect the network at vulnerable hash rate levels couldn’t be ignored either. Considering such factors, they’ve also requested miners, exchanges, and other service providers to keep confirmation requirements levels well above 7K until further notice.

The attack reorganized over 7,000 blocks which is equivalent to two days’ worth of mining, shared Bitfly. The first two attacks which took place earlier had claimed 3,693 and 4,000 blocks respectively.

This is the third 51% attack on ETC in the span of a single month, which is an alarming issue for crypto developers. Following the first two attacks, ETC Labs had shared an official statement delineating a series of security restructuring processes and long-term proposals that it estimated would enhance security for Ethereum Classic, the origin chain of Ethereum. The strategy also includes defensive mining with a view to stabilize the network’s crashing hashrate and resist similar attacks.

In this connection, Stevan Lohja, technology coordinator at ETC Labs, has also expressed suspicion on the timing of the attack as it came just a day after a meeting of Ethereum Core developers regarding “aggressive innovation” in the Blockchain’s proof of work model. Despite three attacks, the cryptocurrency seems to be quite stable in value, trading at $6.86 last checked, which is less than 4% below its price during the second attack. The coin has traded hands between $6 and $8 for nearly the entire month of August.

Following the attack, ETC Cooperative, a foundation providing support to the network’s development, took to Twitter assuring crypto users that they’re currently focussing on testing procedures, and will evaluate proposed solutions at the earliest.

The 51% attacks are not a novel phenomenon for ETC in 2020. In 2019, ETC suffered a similar attack prompting some exchanges like Coinbase to stop interactions with the Blockchain. 

As the third 51% attack was confirmed, several twitter users suggested that accelerating the switch  to a Proof of Work model could be the best solution to combatting the Blockchain’s security threats.

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